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Mirror Mirror DVD Review

Director: Tarsem Singh

Cast: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer

Running time: 106 minutes

Certificate: PG

Extras: ‘Looking Through the Mirror’ making of doc, ‘Prince and Puppies’ feature, trailer

‘Reimagining’ is one of the movie biz’s current buzzwords (all of which appear to be prefixed with ‘re’), and it’s not just existing film and comic properties being overhauled for a quick buck. Hollywood is now giving fairytales the makeover treatment, as evidenced here in Tarsem Singh’s subversive take of the Snow White story. It’s not be the only such film – it was released just months before the more pouty SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN – MIRROR MIRROR is certainly distinctive – fun and vibrant, it’s ultimately what one would expect from a live-action fairytale.

The major pull is Julia Robert, who’s having enormous fun as the wicked Queen. Helped along by sharp dialogue, Roberts spoofs the evil stepmother figure from the classic fairytale, playing the part pitch-perfectly. Mostly, however, it’s business as usual: the Queen is jealous of the beautiful Snow White (Collins) and orders her murder. But her hired help (Nathan Lane on great OTT form) loses his nerve and leaves her to fend for herself in the woods. It’s at the point Snow White befriends the seven dwarves that things are really turned upside-down. There’s plenty of borrowing from other stories and folklore, and the scene in which Snow White and the dwarves ambush and rob the feckless prince (Hammer) is plenty of fun.

There’s much to like in MIRROR MIRROR, although interest wanes by the time of the final act. It’s fun, colourful, and charming, but nowhere near subversive enough to elevate above standard Hollywood fare. An alternative take on the fairytale it may be, but it seems the poisoned apple does not fall very far from the tree – sure, it plays with the conventions, but they’re all present and correct regardless. Whether or not this kick-starts a whole trend of reimagined fairytales remains to be seen, but it’s undoubtedly the most fun of those on offer at present.

Extras: Very little of note here, unless you’re interested in how Armie Hammer studied puppies in preparation for the role.

  MIRROR MIRROR is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.

Tom Fordy is a writer and journalist. Originally from Bristol, he now lives in London. He is a former editor of The Hollywood News and Loaded magazine. He also contributes regularly to The Telegraph, Esquire Weekly and numerous others. Follow him @thetomfordy.

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